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Messages - jrista

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EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV To Feature 4K Video?
« on: July 05, 2014, 02:18:38 AM »
Well we can only judge on what we can buy  :)

As for the patents, Canon have been very aggressive patent registerers for a very long time, which is comical when you examine their early history, but that aside, patents do not products make, we have had rumours of hundreds of them over the years here and few see the light of day, we all know Canon are innovative and do a lot of R&D but most of the time companies patent to cock block anybody else.

They have struggled to make DO lenses work from the word go, they seem to be convinced there is something there and won't let it die but we are not there yet, the 70-300 DO is the biggest piece of $1,400 crap ever, I'd love to know sales figures for the 400 DO.

I still don't see how DPAF helps SLR stills shooters.

As for AF and metering, well they introduced the 45 point AF back in 2000, so it isn't like they didn't have time to put a bit more thought into it, though it isn't "radically" different is it? Dedicated processor and all but the same contrast detect chip behind a sub mirror arrangement since in body AF started. Nikon have had colour sensitive metering for years, and not just in the one top of the line body.

As for the 7D MkII having potential, I must, respectfully, disagree, even if it bests the D7100 in sensor metrics by a half stop or so, so what? That makes it slightly worse on overall image IQ than the 6D.

Don't get me wrong, I am not picking a fight and I am not out to bash Canon, I just see the last few years developments with my eyes wide open, stills are not the driving force they were even five years ago when the 7D made such an impact. In my opinion stills are not seen to be the future by Canon.

If the products haven't landed on a shelf yet then all the R&D in the world is no use to me.

The other truth is that stills are a very mature market, the quality and capability we have now vastly out strip most users needs, the 5D MkIII is probably the most complete stills shooters camera ever and Canon clearly don't believe in much higher MP, DR, blah blah sensor specs at this point. I believe we are on a technology plateau with no signs of the next BIG thing.

For me personally, put the 5D MkIII sensor in the 1Dx MkII, get me those TS-E lenses and I don't care, I'll be retired before my customers or I need more than that.

Very true, patent's don't make a product. My point was only that there is an R&D budget for still photography at Canon, and money is clearly being spent there. Patents do need to actually make their way into a product on a shelf to be meaningful, though...your dead-on there.

I really wonder why Canon doesn't bring more of their innovations into being...almost smacks of Nokia a few years ago...they had a MASSIVE patent library, but it was just IP...they didn't wield it and make competitive products with that technology...and look where they are now... Guess that's the most concerning thing about Canon. They have some amazing technology...but they aren't using it isn't making money.

I still don't see how DPAF helps SLR stills shooters.

I can see it being very useful for focusing landscape shots, which I've always focused manually in live view. DPAF could automate that process.

The other truth is that stills are a very mature market, the quality and capability we have now vastly out strip most users needs, the 5D MkIII is probably the most complete stills shooters camera ever and Canon clearly don't believe in much higher MP, DR, blah blah sensor specs at this point. I believe we are on a technology plateau with no signs of the next BIG thing.

I don't know if I agree with that. DR is obviously a VERY important thing to photographers these days. It is single-handedly the most controversial and common subject when it comes to Canon vs. the others. Even if it isn't as important as many individuals and certain organizations seem to insist, it's clearly a sticking point, and clearly a perception issue between Canon and their customers. I have a hard time believing Canon doesn't know that...not after the last two years and all the debates and conversations and reviews and videos that cover the topic of how much better Nikon/Sony DR is than Canon's.

For Canon to ignore that, and release ANOTHER product without an improvement in that area....well, I think we could actually see some REAL brand migration over the next few years if the 7D II (and worse, the 5D IV/1D X II) hit the streets without a DR improvement. It may not actually matter in most cases, but it matters perceptually...and I think the companies reputation would actually finally be hurt by them not showing any real interest in their sensor IQ. I've seen Canon respond directly to the loudest demands from their customer base in the past. The 1D X and 5D III are exemplary examples of that, in multiple ways. Canon can't ignore the demand for better DR. It would be reputation damaging...

(My words above certainly don't mean Canon is actually going to do anything about it...I guess there is a very good chance they won't...but I do indeed believe it would be damaging to their reputation in the long run if they ignored the single most important demand of their customers after so many years of having that demand levied.)

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV To Feature 4K Video?
« on: July 05, 2014, 01:13:13 AM »
I have no doubt that the push to video in the C line, not their consumer video camera line, along with a plethora of specialist CN-E enses have seriously impacted the stills orientated camera R&D potential.

I believe Canon see video as the DSLR saviour, and maybe it is, but their very heavy push above the stills market has had repercussions.

We have had interminable delays with some lenses where the CN-E line gets major new lenses at the drop of a hat, a complete abandonment of the "studio" stills orientated pro camera when the C line gets massive upgrades via firmware and hardware. Apart from the RT flash system, that is damn good, I can't think of one innovative Canon feature in recent years that isn't video centric. Good but slow IS primes with STM, video, dual pixel AF, video, etc etc.

Sure the 16-35 f4 IS, the 24-70 MkII, and the 70-200 IS MkII are sterling lenses though they are just as useful to wedding video shooters, but where are the 35L MkII (the C line got their 35mm T1.5 ages ago and there is no way that is a tweeked MkI 1.4), the bread an butter stills 100-400 MkII, a 400 f5.6 with IS, the stills market based 45mm and 90mm TS-E MkII's, I'll tell you where they are, they are in B&H under the Cine line banner.

Stills have jumped the shark as far as Canon are concerned, surveillance video cameras, bread and butter TV, documentary and news video are the next cash cows and the niche is studio/movie video. Stills Explorers of Light are getting dumped for videographers, the TV ads are pushing quality video as the core selling point of DSLR's.

Everything you say is very true, so far, for RELEASED products.

Your ignoring all the patent filings and that one major upcoming product release that could very well change that, in a big way. Since the introduction of the 7D, Canon has filed a number of still photography sensor patents, including layered sensors and recently a portraiture sensor. They have filed a good number of DO lens patents, as well as a number of patents for other lenses. There were certainly also a couple DPAF patents in there as well, however that improves both video and live view focus, so it isn't purely a video only feature. With the release of the 1D X and 5D III, we saw the introduction of a radically redesigned new 61pt AF system, and a new metering system for the 1D X. (We never saw patents on those ahead of time...they just showed up in the final products, to everyone's pleasure and surprise.) Canon has also released patents related to readout technology a few times over the last 2-3 years...including an on-die, dual-scale CP-ADC patent, a power source  decoupling patent (might have the potential to eliminate dark current noise), etc.

The 7D II has the potential to change a lot for stills photographers. Canon has mentioned on a couple occasions that they are working on other sensor IQ improvements. That includes some kind of thermal regulation of the sensor (again, could reduce dark current noise), and probably a fab process shrink.

So sure...all of the recently released products from Canon have been video related. But there is plenty of evidence that Canon has continued to innovate on the still photography front the last few years as well. The only difference is that we haven't seen any of those still photography innovations actually land on a shelf in a product....YET.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV To Feature 4K Video?
« on: July 05, 2014, 12:31:01 AM »

And, I have no idea whether adding and upping the video features on a DSLR increases the cost or helps pay for the R&D for features that still photographers are coming to love (e.g., live view).

Live View comfortably predated video.

So did/does the 40D, and the 1D MkIII predated both of them and that does too.

My 50D had live view.

(This is in response to the whole entire quoted chain of posts above, not just the latest post by pbd.)

While Live View came along a good while ago, I'd offer that it is a very primitive form of "video." There was certainly additional R&D invested into developing that (assuming that is even the real foundation of DSLR video) into something that gave the 5D II it's epic sales numbers and cinematographers cause to use it in major TV and Movie productions. I don't think we got HD video "for free" just because we had Live View.

I also honestly don't know if Canon's R&D budget for DSLR video really takes anything away from R&D for stills or not. It certainly seems logical to think so in one context...when thinking only about the photography division of Canon. Canon is a large company, though, and they have long had a video/camcorder division. Who is to say, when you expand the context within which logic applies, that DSLR's aren't simply benefiting from a separate R&D budget, and that the video features were getting are actually fairly cheap because Canon already does R&D into that, and they have a well established body of experience there?

I haven't used the video features of my DSLR much, however the 7D was never really geared for it. Now that I have a 5D III, I may well start using the video features for wildlife stuff. I am not sure if I'd really appreciate still photography R&D budget being used for video features if that is where Canon is primarily spending the budget...however on the other hand, video is now an endemic feature of DSLRs. Canon has the benefit of a large R&D budget in general to produce highly integrated product lines. If they were to lose competitiveness because of the removal of video features...that too could hurt their ability to fund improvements for still photography.

Honestly, I don't think we can really know how video features in a DSLR affect Canon's progress on stills features. I think video is now a standard part of the package. I don't think that is going to change any time soon. We have no real evidence that it's hurting their still photography features, however it certainly expands the marketability of the products. If there is anything Canon is good at, it's maintaining and expanding their customer base...and that can only have a positive effect on their final revenues and R&D budgets in the end. So I consider video in a DSLR a good thing....long term, it just means more features overall, a larger customer base, and more funds that allow Canon to keep making better products in the future.

jrista, the way you normally write about Canon's product line and strategic decisions, and now about Microsoft and their latest products, reminds me a lot about the time when I was a teenager and fell in love for the first time. It's a long time since then, but I still remember the mind set I was in.

To put some ugly zits on that Microsoft crush you seemingly have developed, I may draw to your attention to the fact that Microsoft has not abandoned their predatory style. Just remember the way their henchman Stephen "trojan horse" Elop took over Nokia, killed its long awaited new product strategy, turned a profitable company into a loss making, demoralized corporate cadaver that was ultimately coup de grace'd by Microsoft themselves - with a paycheck for Elop that easily matches all of CR's membership taken together. One should not be surprised that computer folks, who got burned by Microsoft's tactics twenty years ago, are still a bit touchy, especially when the company and their products are presented like ... well, see my first paragraph here.

Back to the original topic: If Microsoft would have wanted access to DSLR or lens related patents, they could have gotten a similar deal from Nikon for a lot less. After all Nikon is a much, much smaller company, most likely with a much smaller patent portfolio, and they are still able to manufacture and market competitive DSLRs and lenses. Let's not forget that Canon's camera division is just a small part of the whole enterprise, and I can well imagine that Microsoft saw a lot more utility in Canon's large office product line and IP, and that this was the real motivation behind the deal.

Your making some wild accusations about the Elop thing. I think they are unfounded, and I think THAT is the kind of crap Microsoft gets rap for that they do not deserve. Elop is an idiot. He always has been, always will be. If Microsoft had chosen Elop to be their new CEO, then I'd have probably ditched MS products in the long term...Elop would have UTTERLY DESTROYED Microsoft. He would have sold off their most lucrative brands and catered to the every whim of the stock holder. They would have been a completely dead brand outside of a niche enterprise market within less than a decade.

I'm not happy Elop is still around, I am SURE there are a lot of people at MS who feel the same...but that's the world of business. One thing Elop does know is how to maneuver himself into lucrative positions, and extract a few monster pay days here and there. For some, that's just the world of business, it's what they do. I find it despicable. I'm still reserving judgement of MS' new CEO. He deserves some time to learn the reigns, make a mistake or two and learn from them, before I either label him another idiot, or the potential savior of a company that has a lot of (unrealized) potential.

As for just being a mindless fan, no, I'm not. I am a fan, don't get me wrong. But I've been through many phases with Microsoft. I generally abhor Apple. Always have. Never liked their approach, their products, their vendor lockin, or Jobs insistnce on having just one friggin button! :P There was a time when I was so dissatisfied with Microsoft that I moved to iPhone...that was a MASSIVE change for me. I stuck with it for years, too, and when the iPhone 4S came around, I thought the product was finally getting somewhere...but there is where it's stayed for the last couple of years, and many of the key problems were never fixed. (That's one of those things Apple does...a lot of people hate Microsoft for changing things every few years, other people hate Apple for ignoring the same old problems for years and years.) Right now, I think Microsoft is a great company. They are producing better products, some of them are excellent, their stock is rising fast (which indicates I'm not alone in my assessment), and I am eminently familiar with the brand.

My big thing is I think Microsoft takes a bigger hit when it comes to people ragging on it than they deserve, while some like Apple don't get nearly enough. I think Microsoft needs a defender who will set some of the record strait. I am not calling them a perfect company...they have their crummy products, and they have certainly made their mistakes. But things change. Things have changed for the better at Microsoft in recent years, and I am happy to recognize that. It may not remain that way...and if it does not...well, I'll at the very least stick with my current products and avoid upgrading, and I'll wait for the next cycle where things get good again. And, maybe, try out some alternatives in between. I try not to hold  grudge. (BTW, I still own and use Apple products...the ones I think are worth it...if/when Apple makes some significant changes to iOS to fix the issues it has that I don't like, I'lll happily give a future iPad a try....I miss some apps that haven't yet made it to the MS ecosystem.)

Windows 8 is a dual-mode operating system. On a desktop, if you prefer, you can still use the classic windows desktop all the time. You can boot to it and use it pretty much exclusively. The only explicit change is the removal of the start menu for the start screen. But the start screen works 100% perfectly well with mouse and keyboard (and, for that matter, it also works with a TV remote when using a Media Center remote control). There is absolutely NOTHING about Windows 8 that makes it difficult to use on the desktop with a kb/mouse. I've been doing it since day one. This is Microsoft's greatest mistake...not properly educating their customers as to what their OS can do. Windows 8 is Windows 7, with more. That's it. There hasn't been a loss of compatibility.

I'm pounding away on a keyboard right now, in Chrome, on the desktop, on a standard computer with no touch Windows 8.1. Touch is not a requirement in Windows 8. It's an option.

Well, I'll have to look into it more deeply then.

I understand that touch is not a requirement, but how to get there (1) isn't clear and (2) is filled with misinformation.

There is a tile on the start menu for the desktop. It's a pretty big tile by default. You can also always hit the windows key to swap back and forth between desktop and start menu. You can also get to it via WinKey-Tab (which cycles through your tasks). On a touch system, swipe from the left to cycle through tasks. The desktop is now just a task like any other, so it will always come up when cycling through apps.

There are a lot of ways of getting to the desktop. In Win8.1 Updt. 1, Microsoft actually asks you where you want to boot to by default...desktop or start menu. It's pretty easy to get to the desktop. One your there...well, if you've used windows over the last two decades at all, then you know exactly how to use it. ;)

I apologize in advance for the following. Jrista you seem to be too offensive to posters who don't like Microsoft or Windows 8. I wanted to reply to Ruined writing something against the usability of windows 8 and I am afraid that you will bash me. Why that?
By the way it seems that most of the replies have nothing to do with the announcement.

I am not being offensive, and it isn't "bashing"...I am simply direct. I don't like beating around the bush. I'm the guy on the forums who doesn't like misinformation, and I correct it at every opportunity. If you can't handle that, you can feel free to ignore me on the forums (it's an actual feature, you could block my posts forever).

There is FAR too much misinformation and unfounded hate for Microsoft. They have a past, like any of us...but the Microsoft of today is a very different company of the Microsoft of decades past. The reasons people hate Microsoft (and I really do use that word explicitly, it's pure unadulterated hate for many people) are old, archaic, and usually unfounded. I think people are missing out in many cases, if they are choosing to avoid upgrading to Microsoft's latest operating systems or software because of misinformation, hearsay, and the outright lies about the company and it's products online.

In the 90's and early 2000's, Windows was known more for the BSOD than anything else. To be 100% perfectly honest...I haven't even seen a blue screen in an absolute minimum of a year. On my own computers, I haven't seen a BSOD in years. Whenever any kind of issue has occurred, the operating system has usually self-corrected itself. I've had hardware issues (I was actually underpowering a high powered video card by about 5 amps for a long while), and drivers would crash, and the operating system would detect that failure, reset the video card, reset the driver, and restore everything to working condition (let me see a Mac to THAT!! HA!)

I honestly don't believe Microsoft deserves the bad rap they get. I honestly don't understand the long term persistent hate they get from so many people, over products that are long dead and irrelevant in todays world. I honestly don't understand why the same old tired excuses people use to justify their MS hate, which are now a decade old or more, are constantly recycled and regurgitated across the net incessantly by people who appear to have last used windows in the 1990's!!!! It's illogical, and it's just plain dumb.

I've had plenty of problems with the iPhones I've owned over the years. The worst of all was the atrocious call quality through GENERATIONS of quality that I originally blamed AT&T for until I finally switched to a Windows Phone 7 device...and then, suddenly, out of the call quality was PERFECT. Crystal clear, crisp, loud. I was blown away. I've had iOS devices lock up on my often. I've seen more broken iPhone screens than I can count or even remember. I've never once had any of those problems with my old HTC WP7 phone or my Lumia. I've dropped the lumia on a few occasions...once directly on it's glass face. The thing still doesn't have a scratch on it, and there is one tiny microscopic nick in the glass that can only be seen when the light is at the right angle. The device has worked flawlessly, continued to provide that perfect phone call clarity, throughout it's now two year old life.

There is no perfect company, and Apple, of all companies, is more monopolistic in it's practices than Microsoft ever was (HUGE multi-billion dollar lawsuits over ROUNDED CORNER ICONS??? Purposely locking people into their vendor-specific connections, instead of being compatible with the rest of the world and all the rest of the worlds devices???)

Sorry, but the kind of loyalty that remains loyal to a company to a fault really irks me. Apple has a fanatical following that dwarfs any kind of following Microsoft has ever had, and it's all IN SPITE of the drawbacks and failings of Apple, IN SPITE of their monopolistic and hefty vendor lock in tactics. IN SPITE of the long-term terrible working conditions of their overseas factory workers. Apple is no more deserving of that kind of...what...LOVE...from their consumers than any other company, and yet they get it anyway. Why? Because they are not Microsoft? Totally illogical.

I switched brands, when Microsoft stuff got sucky. Gave another brand a try. Changed my loyalties. The grass really wasn't greener on the other side, it was more costly, riddled with vendor lock in, and still had bugs and hardware issues. I switched back, and while it still isn't the brilliant deep emerald blue-green I want, the grass definitely tastes better and is more often a deeper green on the Microsoft side these days.

not properly educating their customers as to what their OS can do.

If you have to "educate" your customer you've already lost.

Every company educates their customers about their products. A significant part of that is done through advertising, on TV and elsewhere. Microsoft could have educated their customers with a 15 second spot on TV, showing Windows 8 in both the new touch/metro mode as well as the old desktop mode. That's as simple as it would have had to be. For anyone who has actually used Windows 8, it only takes a moment to find the desktop tile on the start screen and get back into the desktop.

The majority of the complaints come from people who don't actually seem to use Windows 8. They then seem to regularly make the assumption that Windows 8 is only touch. Let's not even call it education...let's just call it communication. Microsoft's only real failure with Windows 8 was failure to communicate the FACT that it is 100% compatible with standard desktop computers with a keyboard and mouse. I speak from personal experience, having used Windows 8 since beta, that there are ZERO difficulties with using Windows 8, any version of it, with a keyboard and mouse. ZERO. Microsoft simply needed to communicate and show that full compatibility, and the misconception, that still seems to persist today, that Windows 8 doesn't work well with kb/mouse or doesn't work without touch, is FALSE.

That is Microsoft's greatest failing. They don't communicate as well as Apple. I don't think Ballmer really cared that much about advertising and communicating their products capabilities to consumers. I hope that will change under new if Microsoft can overcome the issues they have communicating their products capabilities to their customers, their customers could stop assuming incorrect things about Microsoft products and simply get along with using them.

I'm a software developer with over thirty years of experience in UI design, I know what I'm talking about. 8 UI design has several flaws - would you like an EOS 1 Mark 8 or EOS 5 Mark 8 with only touch controls - no dials, no buttons? I think you would find it very hard to use. And with an UI that when you modify settings wholly hides the image you're working with displaying a lot of huge, useless contents you're not interested in? Then it could be a great camera, but you would find it hard to use because it doesn't work as you expect a camera should work. And you wouldn't like if Canon or whatever else tell you "you just need to be (re)educated".
That said, I like Windows 8 on my phone and on my Surface 2 Pro tablet - but they are different devices. To take photos on a phone I can accept a touch interface, but I would never accept it on my DSLR. Different devices need a different UI.

I've been writing code since the age of 8, and writing software since the 90's. I've been doing graphic design and UI development for about the same amount of time. ;) I'm honestly not sure what UI design flaws your talking about:

"And with an UI that when you modify settings wholly hides the image you're working with displaying a lot of huge, useless contents you're not interested in?"

What exactly are you referring to, here? I have never had any experience with Windows 8 that would match that rather vague description of...something...

Also, I do not believe this patent sharing deal between Canon and Microsoft really has anything to do with putting Windows Phone into a Canon DSLR. Maybe, at some point, some years down the road, I think we might see a Canon touch UI powered by the Windows Phone PLATFORM. I don't think it would actually be the WP8 we currently use on our phones today...I think it would be more like XBox 1. It would make use of the technology Microsoft has, the core operating system and the app platform, to build something custom that actually worked quite ideally with a Canon camera. Something that supported external buttons in ADDITION to a multi-touch UI.

Others have made this argument before. Personally, I'm a button and dial guy. But when you get into the menu would actually be really nice to have touch capabilities. Or when your on the settings grid on a Canon DSLR, it would be nice just to be able to touch one of the cells, rather than press a button, to configure any of the common settings...EC, WB, AF, ISO, etc.

Your thinking a little too literally here. Canon having access to Microsoft's patents is a REALLY GOOD THING. They won't just drop WP8 on their next DSLRs or compact cameras. However they could utilize Microsofts multitouch patents, or even their mobile OS kernel, as a platform upon which to build something more well suited to their products. It's just the PATENTS that are shared...the underlying technological concepts. Not any of Microsoft's OSs themselves. (I actually assume that Canon would have to pay a license fee to actually use WP8 itself on a DSLR.)

Well apparently, Microsoft wants to have some Canon tech in their imaging stuff now. Unfortunately, I guess nobody told them that it's not exactly the same thing to transfer from system camera level imaging to mobile imaging. It does make me wonder whether when Nokia imploded the people who really knew the details of Pureview technology jumped ship... As far as I know, Nokia lost a ton of talent at the moment when Windows strategy was announced.

Gotta back claims like that up, Mika. There have been no mentions of a mass of talent leaving the company since Microsoft acquired it. There shouldn't be, either, as it should be business as usual...Microsoft owns the Lumia unit now, that doesn't mean they are going to change everything right off the bat (or change anything...Lumia is the most successful Windows phone, and it's driving the growth of Windows phone in the not mess with something that works.)

PureView is the best camera technology in a phone right now. Why your complaining about that now that it's in Microsoft hands, I cannot fathom.

Anyways, Microsoft hate is not because Windows 8 didn't work, or had underlying issues. The hate is because Microsoft doesn't listen to customers or just does business moves that people see are going to cost them more in the long run. And that they are trying to push their monopolistic software attitude to other business areas where they have no foothold. Or backstabbing their hardware buddies with releasing Surface to begin with.

This is again a scrap out of the 1990's. Microsoft has been directly listening to customer feedback for many years now. They have been an extremely open and cooporative company, vs. a monopolistic company, since the whole anti-trust suit. This very deal is a PERFECT example of the NON-competitive nature of the Microsoft of today. Your once again living in the past.

As for Surface...Microsoft's future is dependent upon the entire Microsoft ecosystem being directly competitive with Apple products, specifically. To be quite blunt, Microsoft's hardware partners SUCK ASS. They NEEDED a big, fat, PAINFUL kick in the rear end to knock some sense into them. The mobile windows hardware market has been failing for years...products have gotten cheaper and cheaper, and the quality of those products has tanked right along with price and profit margin.

I just purchased a brand new Dell XPS 15, with an i7, 16GB ram, 512GB SSD, and a 15.6" 3800x1800 pixel QHD+ screen. For less than two grand. This thing is built like a MacBook Pro, and it runs circles around one. It is a BEAUTIFUL device, with a backlit keyboard and a construction quality like I've never before seen in the Microsoft ecosystem. I also am 100% ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that it would have never existed if Microsoft hadn't entered the game and produced a driving incentive for their own business partners to one-up them. Microsoft's strategy with Surface worked, IMO. Their PARTNERS, who are now also their competitors, are building better products. They are building competitive products that no only compete with the Surface (which is a good device, I have a Surface Pro myself), but also compete directly with Apple products.

The Dell XPS 15 is a beautiful example of the genius behind Microsoft making themselves a competitor in their own was an essential move to revitalize their industry. No one sees that...because everyone is stuck in the late 1990's and an anti-trust suit that wasn't satisfactory to their hateful expectations. Times have changed...time to get up to date.

Vista with Office updates that forced non-customizable Ribbon was bad enough, and on top of that, the companies had to pay to get people on courses how to use 20 year old tools again.

Now, add another Office change (2010), the UI didn't remain constant, although I think it was a general improvement to 2007. Add on Windows 8 screwing the operating system UI again with Microsoft marketing trying to push it as a "vast improvement" where real world experience was completely different. Especially when beta testers WARNED the company about this.

The ribbon was a DIRECT response to years of customer feedback on the Office UI. People hated having to dig multiple levels deep within menu systems to find features in Word and Excel primarily. Microsoft designed the ribbon in an effort to solve that exact problem, based on explicit CUSTOMER feedback about the problems with their old Office design. Ribbon was a success in that it brought everything right to the surface, one level deep in a series of tabs.

The problem, again, is that people simply don't seem to like change, if that change is coming from Microsoft. (If it is Apple changing something, everyone hails it as revolutionary genius...such as in the iOS 7 change...which, ironically, was simply to make their semi-3D rounded corner icons mostly flat rounded corner icons...oh, and to add a little bit of translucency in a few new places...flat...which, ironically, was largely pioneered by Microsoft with their Metro UI design). Change is the focal point of progress. Everything has to change at some point to be improved. Microsoft has made REASONABLE changes to things like Office, such as with the introduction of the Ribbon UI, and usually in direct response to customer feedback.

I've seen changes made to the Zune desktop player and XBox Music UIs based directly on my feedback...I asked for a couple explicit features directly to Microsoft over the phone, based on an issue I was having. I referenced a number of threads on Microsoft forums where the same feature was being asked for. Within maybe a month, an update was pushed that added the feature and one other change I'd asked for.

Microsoft's ecosystem is huge. For as many people as use iPhones, Microsoft's installed base of Windows computers is well over a BILLION now. The majority of those are Windows 7 and Windows 8.x (and the server counterparts), with a rapidly fading presence in XP. When you have an installed base in the billions, it's impossible to make any change that satisfies 100% of your user base (not even Apple could accomplish that...iOS 7/8 has had it's fair share of detractors, sometimes audible in the throng of brainwashed fanaticism.)

It doesn't help that Windows 8.1 removes a part of the forced stupidity (though I wouldn't cross my fingers), the version name is already tainted. It has to be Windows 9 and an attitude change to recover from this. The point is, if the most downloaded third-party application is Classic Shell, the UI was ****ed to begin with. Note that this holds for the business side experience when using desktops with large screens.

Unfortunately, Microsoft also started to push for cloud integration in Office, and at this part of the world, there's not a lot of businesses who would like to upload critical information to servers based in the US given the current legislation that can confiscate the data at any point. I'm pretty sure Microsoft's plan is to start forcing cloud services down on our throats gradually to charge the usage basis for monthly services, and that I don't want.

Now your just speculating about Microsoft forcing anything on it's customers. You can still, and will always be able to, buy Office stand-alone. I did. I own a couple stand alone copies. I opted for that, instead of the much cheaper $99/yr Office Cloud standard edition. I prefer to store my data locally...but not everyone does. Some people, some corporations and smaller businesses, much prefer to offload the once-necessary costs and complexities of managing their own computer networks and systems onto a larger business entity that has more talented and effective resources for managing such things.

The Cloud, as far as Microsoft is concerned, isn't about the end consumer. The cloud is about the enterprise and the business user. Microsoft's cloud business is actually one of their more successful business units, as well. They have been seeing consistent growth in the Azure cloud and cloud-based service offerings. A lot of people and a lot of corporations WANT cloud offerings. With social and search services like Google and Facebook coming under fire for a lot of misuse of customer data, Microsoft has just been plugging away doing what they do...enterprise systems and support. They offer a truly viable alternative to Google that is more secure and untainted with a history of data abuse or spying or controversial "social experimentation" on an unknowing populace of users or anything like that.

Cloud is Microsoft's strength. Their biggest competitor there is actually Amazon, and they are making headway, helping spur a competitive market in the cloud services business.

I also definitely don't like the Microsoft store integration of the computer UI, and from what it seems, neither did the entertainment industry. Ask how bad it had to be if Valve switched on to developing their own operating system!

The way app stores are run isn't really a Microsoft thing. Apple started that trend, and in many ways, it is essential to the protection of consumers. Just look into how many problems and security issues can and have occurred on the Android platform, with it's open app store, vs. how many of those kinds of issues occur on Apple or Microsoft devices. There needs to be some level of buffer, some small barrier to entry, to help weed out the apps that are designed by data and identity thieves for the purposes of data and identity theft, fraud, etc.

The other issue here is costs and revenue. Microsoft runs the server farm that manages their app store, just like Apple does. It is also a key source of long-term revenue, for both companies. It's a business choice those companies made. Again, when you have such a massive ecosystem, you cannot make decisions that satisfy 100% of your customers.

The Valve problem would have been the same if Steam wanted to do it on the iOS platform. Valve did not want to share it's revenue with Microsoft. Ok, fine. That's the business decision Valve has made. That doesn't make it some kind of a referendum against Windows 8. It simply means that Steam doesn't want to share their revenue, and that's certainly a decision they are allowed to make. It doesn't matter in the end anyway...Windows 8 is still Windows 7 when your on the desktop, and Steam has always worked the same as it always has. There is no loss for Valve here...there is no requirement that they move to an app store model.

There is also no reason that Valve couldn't work with Microsoft on a deal to have a Steam metro app that worked in a unique way to support Valves needs. Microsoft worked with the VLC media player team to help them create a version of VLC that would operate under the (necessary, for security purposes) sandboxing and library limitations of standard Windows 8 apps. VLC makes use of some key low-level C libraries for the kind of performance they require, which are normally not allowed in metro apps. And yet...the first version of VLC for Windows 8 was released a number of months ago.

This is, of course, from my point of view. If you ask me, Windows 8 could've worked had the preferred UI been a simple question in the beginning. Ribbon would work better if it was customizable. Microsoft's name would look better if it wasn't seen nowadays as a potential competitor with their customers and so on.

You have clearly never been part of a software development project, certainly not on any large-scale project that had a large installed base of users. You have to START somewhere. You have to make the decisions of what things your going to include, so you can allocate the resources to implement those things, then send em through the long and complex pipeline of proper testing, QA, refinement, patent generation, pre-production testing, release preparation, stock production, and final release to the storefront shelf and consumers. Microsoft made their decisions about where to START with Windows 8. They have been making progressive updates and improvements that, once again based directly on customer feedback, are greatly improving the product. It's a process. Processes take time.

(BTW, Ribbon IS customizable...highly. You don't quite seem to have your facts strait about Microsoft or their products...probably because you abandoned Microsoft a decade ago, and have simply been regurgitating the same old drivel about mean, predatory, hateful old behemoth "Microsoft the Monopoly" for the same amount of time. Things have changed...and your seeing everything through a lens that keeps you stuck in the past.)

People just like to hate on Microsoft, even when they've done good. Windows 8 is the only truly universal platform that runs multiple devices, in multiple operating modes, simultaneously. Not even Apple has topped that, and I don't think they will. I purchased an original Surface Pro, because I'd been waiting for years to be able to have a fully touch-capable device for when I'm out roaming around, while not actually having to leave my full Windows desktop capabilities at home. I was probably one of the first people using Lightroom, Photoshop and EOS Utility on a Windows 8 tablet, tethered to my Canon 7D, out in the mountains, taking landscape photos and processing them with a pressure sensitive pen on the spot with a fully featured photo editing software (not some limited or otherwise gimped "app" as is the case on iPad.)

I also think a lot of people miss the magnitude of this.

W8 is essentially the same interface across a phone, tablet/laptop and desktop PC.

You don't have a bunch of stuff that no longer works with OS upgrades like the fruity side. Proprietary connectors that get changed every other generation so the accessories no longer work...

If the top Nokia Lumia phone was available on T-Mobile instead of AT&T, I would have got one. Big mistake on Nokia's part.

I think MS dropped the ball with the "RT" version of the Surface.

I would also immensley prefer the iPad 4:3 screen on a Surface.   

I'll grant that the W8 interface is different from XP and 7. I like W8 on a touchscreen but my desktop isn't touch, so I'm a little leery of setting it up. My computer has an included upgrade to W8.1 if I decide to try it.

I have had only 2 issue with my older hardware not working in W8, and as far as I can tell, it stems from the manufacturer no longer supporting the product- so not the fault of MS. Everything else I have works. Even downloading Epson 3800 drivers to a Surface Pro2.

Any insights on using W8 in a non-touch environment?

Windows 8 is a dual-mode operating system. On a desktop, if you prefer, you can still use the classic windows desktop all the time. You can boot to it and use it pretty much exclusively. The only explicit change is the removal of the start menu for the start screen. But the start screen works 100% perfectly well with mouse and keyboard (and, for that matter, it also works with a TV remote when using a Media Center remote control). There is absolutely NOTHING about Windows 8 that makes it difficult to use on the desktop with a kb/mouse. I've been doing it since day one. This is Microsoft's greatest mistake...not properly educating their customers as to what their OS can do. Windows 8 is Windows 7, with more. That's it. There hasn't been a loss of compatibility.

I'm pounding away on a keyboard right now, in Chrome, on the desktop, on a standard computer with no touch Windows 8.1. Touch is not a requirement in Windows 8. It's an option.

Your living in a past 20 years old, now. Microsoft and Windows have changed CONSIDERABLY from their 90's and early 2000's phase.

Was vista 20 years ago?  :P Not starting an argument, just poking the bear  ;D

Vista itself wasn't bad. It ran quite fine. The debacle with Vista was that Microsoft and vendors weren't on the ball BEFORE it's release to ensure that the OS had an adequate driver base, for both existing and new hardware. The initial rash of hate blogs on Windows Vista were all related to the driver issues. From there, the MS haters just piled on, and did everything they could to rip the OS to pieces. (If you make a concerted effort to find something wrong'll find something wrong...and then something else, and then something else...we aren't perfect, nor are our creations...I could go on for days about the things that went wrong with all my apple devices, including my Apple CinemaDisplay that keeps flipping out on me). It seems to be human nature to hate change, and to pile on hate when it's flying fast and furious...and thus, the Vista death spiral. If it hadn't been for the driver issues, the hate ball wouldn't have ever started rolling, and Vista would have been a fine, respected OS.

Windows 8 is also hated, but that's just hater's hating. Windows 8 has so far been an extremely stable, fast, and highly compatible update to Windows 7. It still has the same old desktop (I use the desktop every single day, it's no different than in Windows 7, except it's all flat now instead of slightly 3D and glassy...I prefer flat and simple.) Windows 8 boots in seconds, it has a significantly smaller memory footprint, it is more energy efficient, and it is compatible with EVERYTHING (I've run Windows 8 on all my computers here, which include several laptops, a couple high powered desktops, a media center PC, and some older bits and pieces of hardware I've had floating around for the better part of a decade and a half.)

And yet, people still hate it. I think a lot of that is change...people don't like change if they didn't ask for it, and replacing the start "menu" with a start "screen" just seemed to piss a lot of people off. There is nothing wrong with Windows 8 itself, just like there was nothing wrong with Windows Vista. Yet, the haters piled on. All it took was someone, somewhere, to B&M about something, and a whole horde of decades-old Microsoft/Windows haters were just waiting in the wings to get the hate ball rolling again. The driver debacle with Vista was a real thing, an honest problem, but it was resolved pretty quickly, and once it was resolved, there really weren't any true issues with the OS. The Windows 8 start screen isn't a problem. For one, if you wanted the start menu back, free or very very cheap utilities would restore it really wasn't a problem. There were also free and very very cheap utilities to boot right to the desktop in the original Windows 8, so again, not really a problem. But still the hate. Not just hate, but vehement hate. Nasty, mean, angry hate.

People just like to hate on Microsoft, even when they've done good. Windows 8 is the only truly universal platform that runs multiple devices, in multiple operating modes, simultaneously. Not even Apple has topped that, and I don't think they will. I purchased an original Surface Pro, because I'd been waiting for years to be able to have a fully touch-capable device for when I'm out roaming around, while not actually having to leave my full Windows desktop capabilities at home. I was probably one of the first people using Lightroom, Photoshop and EOS Utility on a Windows 8 tablet, tethered to my Canon 7D, out in the mountains, taking landscape photos and processing them with a pressure sensitive pen on the spot with a fully featured photo editing software (not some limited or otherwise gimped "app" as is the case on iPad.)

I think Microsoft has moved well past the age where they were deserving of a hateful bad rap. It's been the better part of two decades since their monopolistic/anti-trust issues. It's been over seven years since Vista, Windows 7 is one of the most reliable and heavily used operating systems on the planet, (as was Win XP before), etc. etc. If your still holding a grudge for things Microsoft made you mad about in the 90's...I'd say the issue lies somewhere other than Microsoft or it's products...holding grudges like that ain't good for the health. :P

I've been a Windoz hater for over 20 years. The reason I did not buy a Nokia Lumia 930 was, you guessed it, Windoz Phone 8. BTW I use a 2006 LG flip-phone, so please don't call me an Apple fanboy :)

If a Canon camera comes along that I'd normally buy. But it uses MicroSoft code, I'll have to pass. Back in the day, when I did HTML coding (by hand), I learned to h8t MS, and their non-standard (and buggy) Windoz Explorer. Been there, done that and I ain't going back :( YMMV.

Your living in a past 20 years old, now. Microsoft and Windows have changed CONSIDERABLY from their 90's and early 2000's phase. The products Microsoft sells today are vastly superior to what they used to be, and deserving of a little more respect than 20-year old unfounded hate.

I've been using Microsoft products since the early 90's, and I've been writing software for the Microsoft platforms for about the same amount of time. (I also develop software for other platforms, in the 90's I did Java, C/C++ on Linux. Today I'm heavily JavaScript/HTML5/CSS3 based...web platform and JS stack, and I love it isn't like I'm a Microsoft-only die-hard here...I've gotten around.) I've also been using linux/unix since that period, and I've had more than enough encounters with Macs and iOS. There is no perfect platform, there is no one platform that stands out leagues above the rest. They all have their pros and cons, they all have their bugs, and they all have their shining points. Having used enough Apple products over the years, they are the farthest thing from flawless. I remember generations of iPhones that excelled at everything but being a phone. I remember experiencing malware issues on multiple versions of MacOS. I remember many hardware issues that required a visit to the Apple store (and I know for a fact I'm not the only one...that's one of the PRIMARY uses of Apple stores, for their Apple Care.) I've experienced more than enough linux over the years. While it is no doubt an incredibly powerful and flexible OS, that's pretty much all it is...power and flexibility. That kind of power and flexibility gets in the way of productivity at times, and certainly puts it out of reach of the general populace unless it's HEAVILY glossed over with a very iOS or Windows like UI (i.e. Android...and anyone who's used Android phones knows how buggy and shoddily built they are...their only saving grace is their customizability and open app platform.)

I'm the first to admit Microsoft had a couple phases where their products were RIDDLED with bugs and security flaws. I remember the early NT days, and I utterly LOATHED them. I enjoyed Windows 95 and 98, hated ME. I loved XP, and personally never had any issues with Vista. Windows 7 is the worlds most popular consumer-grade operating system for good reason. Today, Microsoft is one of the most secure OS and enterprise software developers on the planet, their first-party products are just as refined as the competitions, and third-party product compatibility is better on Windows than any other platform.

Might want to poke your head up and smell the winds of change every once in a while. :P

I'm a big fan of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Not that I think this would lead directly to a Canon WP camera, but I think it is an interesting possibility for smaller cameras...compacts, mirrorless with touch.

I think that's the less valuable outcome, however. I think the biggest thing is better support for Canon hardware on the Windows platform (across the device range), maybe even some deeper integration between the two. I'd welcome that. It may also mean the integration of Canon devices into Microsoft tablets and phones, XBox, maybe future Microsoft devices? Dunno...interesting stuff.

It's certainly been nice having Apple-patented features in Windows phone (like the rubber band scrolling) and not have to worry that Apple is going to go ape-S___ and sue Microsoft into the next millennium over such a trivial thing (Apple's aggressive litigation against Android makers over ludicrous things like rounded-corner icons REALLY soured me against them. I was never a big fan, but now I rather dislike the company. I've had plenty of apple devices over the years, they have been ok, nothing ever worth their fanatical following IMO...but I don't like it when an innovative company turns aggressive and predatory.)

Canon lens classification is very specific.

Telephoto is a designation that includes 135 to 300 mm non-zoom lenses.

It does not include anything else.

My wild guess is an Image Stabilized 135mm f/2 for want of any better idea.

A telephoto lens is a lens that uses a telephoto group to allow the physical lens length to be shorter than the actual focal length. Before telephoto lenses, longer lenses were simply called "long lenses" or "long focal length" lenses. Similarly, for the most part, wide angle lenses with a focal length less than the registration distance of the camera usually require a "retrofocal" design. It's very similar to a telephoto design, only for the opposite purpose. They use reversed telephoto groups to allow the physical length of the lens barrel to be longer than the actual focal length of the lens.

Canon, BTW, DOES have "Telephoto Zooms"...on the very page you linked. The focal range with their telephoto zooms goes from 28mm to 400mm, so I wouldn't say that 300mm is the limit for a "telephoto" lens...all that really matters is that the physical length of the lens be shorter than the focal length itself.

It's a CR3 about the fact that the NDA/embargo will expire. That's really it. I wouldn't call this a CR3 about the 7D "replacement" (cleverly worded ;)) itself. Don't get your hopes up too much...all this is is reporting the fact that Canon will be lifting NDAs and allow people to speak freely about certain upcoming products starting in Sept., however we still don't know what those products are. Just that it's the 7D "replacement"...whatever that is...7D II? 3D? 4D? 2D? Something still APS-C? Something maybe APS-H? Something with 10fps? Something with more FPS? It's all still the same old questions...we still don't know anything. We just know now that we WILL know more clearly, but possibly still not for sure, in a few more months. :P

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: June 30, 2014, 04:07:09 PM »
5D2 + 24-105L

Wonderful shot! Such a cute trio.

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: 1.03x Magnification APS-C Viewfinder
« on: June 30, 2014, 01:28:54 PM »
18 months?  My last one took over six years from submission to award.

The 18-month turnaround is just the typical. There are some patents on thermistor-controlled voltage regulators that I was looking at this weekend (trying to build myself a cold box for my DSLRs that is regulated by temperature feedback) that were granted in the early 70's that sometimes took many years from date of filing to actually be awarded. I found that to be the case with quite a number of patents, many of which were from some pretty major corporations (like 3M).

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